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Sites Demo

Total delivery time: 10 minutes

This document is a guide to help you quickly and effectively demo key features in Google Sites to your prospective Google Apps customers.  

Before You Demo

Before you can deliver a successful demo, you'll need to create a Site that you can use to show different page types and different forms of page content.  You can take a look at the example site used in the screenshots below, but you'll want to create your own so you can make edits.  In particular, you'll need:
  • a landing page which has multiple embedded gadgets like the sample landing page
  • an Announcements page like the "Corporate News" page
  • a Lists page like the "Damaged Goods Tracking" page
  • a File Cabinet page like the "Store Collateral" page
For your own demo site, you should consider creating a custom version for each customer that uses their logos and colors.  This will help them envision how using Google Sites would look and feel for their users.

Introducing Google Sites

Start the demo by summarizing the main advantages of using Google Sites.  Key things to mention are:
  • Make your information accessible - Create an intranet or let teams build sites to share knowledge or project information.
  • Shares files simply - Sites automatically versions uploaded files so it's easy to find the latest one.
  • Unify your content - Display your Google Docs, YouTube Videos, Picasa slideshows and gadgets without any programming knowledge.
  • Everyone can contribute - No coding is necessary so anyone can create or update a Site and share it with their team, their company, or the entire world.

A Basic Sites Page

After the introduction, you'll want to show a basic Sites page with some text and some embedded gadgets like the landing page of the sample Site.
  • Summarize the items on the page (you'll explain how you created the page and added the gadgets in the next few sections so you don't need to do that here).  Highlight the navigation sidebar which lets visitors quickly jump to the other pages of your site and the embedded Google search in the upper right for quickly searching your content.

Editing a Page

Now show how easy it is to create pages like this.
  • Click the "Edit Page" button to open the editor, and explain how Sites gives you a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) interface for adding and formatting content - all within the browser, so anyone can create and modify pages without programming knowledge or special software.

  • Highlight some of the controls that Sites gives you including the ability to change font sizes and colors, create ordered lists, insert tables, etc.  You can also point out that you can edit the actual HTML page by clicking the small HTML button so you have complete control over your page's appearance beyond just the visual tools that Sites provides.

Inserting Gadgets and Other Content

Next demonstrate that inserting advanced embedded components like the calendar is as easy as selecting from a drop down menu.
  • Click the "Insert" drop down menu to show the full list of components that you can insert into a page.  List some of the options like: photo slideshows from Picasa, spreadsheets and spreadsheet forms, slide presentations, and document previews.

  • Scroll down to the "Gadgets" section of the menu.  You've already shown how you can include posts and lists.  Click "More" to open the general gadget gallery.  Explain how you can add a whole range of gadgets that developers have created as well as any gadgets that your own gadgets through the "Add by URL" link.

Page Types: Announcements, Lists, and File Cabinets

Now demonstrate some other types of pages that Google Sites lets you create.
  • Start with an Announcements page like the "Corporate News" page in the sample site.  Explain how the Announcements page type lets you keep a record of posts like a blog.  Give an example use case for this type of page - in the sample, it's used as a way to keep employees updated about what's going on in the company.

  • Click the "New Post" button to open the editor, and point out how your post can contain any of the same content that a web page would.  Click "Cancel" to return to the list of posts.  Finally, mention that you can embed these announcements in other pages on your site like you showed on the landing page.

  • Next show an examples of a Lists page like the "Damaged Goods Tracking" page in the sample site.  Explain how Lists let you create sortable tables with columns and data types you specify.

  • Click "Customize this list" to illustrate this.  Point out how you can add or remove columns, change names and data types, and adjust how the data is sorted.

  • Finally, show an example of the File Cabinet page type like the "Store Collateral" page in the sample site.  Explain how the File Cabinet gives you a simple way to share and track files with a group.  Mention some of the key features of the file cabinet: organizing by folders, dating uploads and changes, and automatic version tracking.

  • Click on the version number for one of the files in your cabinet.  Describe how this gives you a list of all uploaded versions, their last edited date, and who uploaded it.  
  • Click on an older version of the document to show how you can access previously uploaded files.  Then click "Back to page" to return to your site.

Subscribing to Page / Site Changes

Now show another useful feature of Google Sites: the ability to subscribe to Page / Site changes.
  • Click on the "More actions" drop down menu to show the options.  Explain how you can choose to subscribe to changes that are made to the page you are currently viewing or to the entire site.  Subscribing will send an email notification every time a change is made.  Mention some reasons why this would be useful - if you're subscribing to a Filing Cabinet page, you'll get notified every time a new file is uploaded or an existing one is modified; if you subscribe to an Announcements page, you'll get a notice every time there's a new post.

Site Sharing

Next you'll show how a site can be shared with a group, with the entire company, or with the whole world.
  • Click "Site Settings" and select "Share this site" from the menu that appears.
  • Enter in one or more email addresses from your contacts.  Explain how you can add these people as owners (they can change all the site content and the site settings), collaborators (they can edit pages but cannot change site settings), or viewers (they can see the sites pages can't make any changes).  Click "Invite these people" and then "Send" in the invitation that appears.

  • Point out the "Advanced permissions" below the invite box.  Explain how you can allow anyone in your company to view or edit the site, or you can share the site with world and make it public (i.e. anyone who types in the URL or finds it in a search will be able to view it).  Mention how this option lets you use Google Sites to create a company website without having to worry about hosting or maintaining pages.

Changing Site Appearance

Now show how Google Sites lets you customize your site's layout and styles.
  • From the sharing menu, click the "Appearance" button.  Describe how you can modify the size and ordering of the main site components.

  • Click "Change Site Layout" to bring up the menu for adjusting widths and positions of the site's sections.  Remove the sidebar to by clicking the checkbox next to it as an example of how the layout updates.

  • Click on the "Colors and Fonts" tab at the top.  Mention how Google Sites gives you fine-grained control over how each element appears so you can modify color schemes and fonts to match your company's style.

  • Now click on the "Themes" tab and point out that Sites provides you with a set of pre-packaged themes if you don't want to set your own styles or use the default.

Other Site Settings

Finally, show some of the other customization options.
  • Click on the "Other Stuff" button at the top of the page to open the additional settings menu.  Point out some of the useful options you can enable here: you can change the landing page that visitors are sent to, you can add Google Analytics to track how visitors interact with your site, you can map your site to a custom URL on your domain.

Concluding Remarks

Click the "Return to Site" link in the upper left to go back to the Site's landing page.  Conclude your Sites demo by giving some examples of the types of things that Google Sites would be useful for: creating a company intranet, managing team projects, sharing and tracking versions of files, making an easy to maintain and update company website, and more.